7.20.2012

26hours Bus Ride to Flores

Hi there my fellow blog readers!

It's been a while since I haven't posted anything here, I havent even continue my story about my last trip! Well i guess I shall pick  it up where we left off. In this posting I'll tell you about my journey on the road, beginning from Lombok until I arrived in the harbor city of Labuan Bajo, Flores.

After spending couple of nights in Lombok and figuring out the best way to go to Labuan Bajo, Flores, we finally chose to hop on a bus straight to Labuan Bajo (LBJ) which cost us around.... 350.000 something (Correct me if i'm wrong). Flying on an airplane (TransNusa) was an expensive option for us, also considering that the planes used for Eastern Indonesia flights are usually creepy. So we didnt dare to take that option. When I got in the bus, I looked around,  the bus was decent, it was okay, not that dirty, pretty comfy enough to be seated in for long hours. There werent many tourist in that bus, there were only 6 travellers (including two of us), while mostly it was packed up by locals who were going to Flores to visit their family, relatives, or to work.

Thus, the journey started in Terminal Mandalika in Mataram, Lombok. We already filled up every little thing we might need on the road: snacks, snacks, snacks, food, drinks, wet tissue, snacks, snacks, and anti-travel sickness pills! Well during the ride, I kept on waking up and falling asleep, so unfortunately I didnt concentrate much on what's on the road. But the ferry crossing from Lombok to Sumbawa was pretty nasty. It was filthy, and smell horrible. I took the opportunity to charge my camera and mobile phone in the cafetaria. In case you havent known yet, in a ferry you can ask the man in the cafetaria counter to charge your electronics and it'll cost you around 2000-5000 thousand rupiahs per gadget. When it was fully charged, then I would just lay my body on whatever space available and sleep.

It was my first time in Sumbawa!!! So curious to see what's on this other part of Indonesia. But since we got to Sumbawa somewhere during the middle of the night, I could barely see anything. It was pitch black. All I can feel was that the road was severely jammed and brutally bumpy. I could never close my eyes and sleep. But as far as my sight goes, I could see that the scenery was draped with coastal lines and savannas. But the road was pretty empty and deserted.


It was in Dompu, somewhere right in the middle of the island, where our bus suddenly stopped. I was sleeping, and I thought that the driver must have had something to buy or maybe it was the rest-area or something. But turned out it wasnt. Turned out that the bus' tire was flat. And it was in the middle of nowhere, at around 12 AM. Sweet.

The passengers have been waiting for so long and they ran out of patience. The bus driver didnt inform us anything, what time we would go again, what were the other options, where we better rest, no he didn't inform us anything. In fact he ran away into the villager's house and left us in the middle of the road there. The passengers kept on grumbling, and murmuring, some even said they wanted to look for the driver and beat him up -_-

Well me, I'm not much of a complainer so I just rolled up a piece of cloth as my blanket, and sleep on the terrace of a villager's house.

At around 6 o'clock, a pick-up truck came with a tire. It was our bus' tire! Yeayyyy. Turn out that the bus company had to drive all the way from Bima, the capital city of Sumbawa, to our location to bring the tire, which took around 5-6 hours. So the tire got repaired, and we continued our way to Bima.

Although we had bought a one way ticket from Lombok to Labuan Bajo, but once we arrived in Bima, it turned out that the bus couldnt even take us to the harbor, Sape. So we had to stop and take a minibus to get to Sape.

So this 'mini bus' which could take us to Sape was somekind of Daihatsu L300. The capacity was supposedly at the maximum of 10 people. But you know how many people who were tucked inside the car? 40!!!! I didnt know how we made it, but the car went anyway. And it was my first time to see a passenger to  actually sit on the right side of the driver!!! (In Indonesia, people drive on the right side) And there suppose to be nobody on the right side of the driver. Nobody!

Anyway, me and Aby could actually manage to get out alive and well in Sape harbor. Buuuuuuuuuuuuut there's a but. We were late for that day's ferry. And there were only one ferry for each day. So, after we got jammed up in that 'sardine can', we had to wait for another day to come so we could get on the ferry for the next day. And the rest of the day was filled with looking for a cheap hostel around the harbor and finally, a BED!!!! A pretty proper one. 


The next day, we hopped on the ferry to Labuan Bajo. The ferry crossing took approximately 9 hours from Sape to LBJ. Probably the worst PELNI ferry I've ever been on haha. But nevertheless, the view was uh-ma-zing. The blue sky came across green-yellowish hills, all down to the blue and turquoise sea. Didn't seem like I was in Indonesia! There were so many small islands, which seemed 'unearth'. Oh and also, we also had the opportunity to see dolphins jumping up and down near our ferry! Incredible.





Finally after 9 hours, we arrived in Labuan Bajo. It was a beautiful harbor city, with hills and cliffs surrounding the bay, garnished by white houses and small locally run hotels.


And the rest of my trip in Flores, I shall continue on my next posting. Ciao for now!
Stay cool,
Tami






1 comment:

Tay Aaron said...

hi,
Great story and thanks for sharing your experience. Do you remember what time did you leave mataram bus terminal?